Welcome to the very "furst" edition of The Furst Look: Conversations with Revolutionary Leaders. My…
If you’re searching for a single word to accurately describe the current state of the work world, volatile would be a fair choice. It’s nearly impossible to deny the fact that unprecedented levels of uncertainty are disrupting how companies are doing business at every appreciable level of operation. Everything from the global pandemic to waves of technological innovation sweeping across industries are forcing a workplace evolution, and today’s business leaders must continually rethink and retool in an effort to remain afloat.
In the aftermath of such demonstrable volatility, some businesses will discover new and innovative ways to move forward in order to seize the advantage over their competition and grab success from the mouth of uncertainty—while others will inevitably fall behind and struggle to remain viable. Make no mistake, the work world is at a real inflection point. The question companies in all corners of the economy must ask themselves is this: Are we willing to change to survive?
The Value of A Strong Company Culture
Often, a key differentiator between success and failure for a business in challenging times—whether it’s a lean startup, a global multinational behemoth, or somewhere in between—is the strength, resiliency, and flexibility of its team members. Employees have a significant impact in shaping and defining a company’s culture. Think of it this way: A company is like a living organism, and its culture is its core. A strong core offers essential balance, stability, and support, allowing it to capably perform all key functions that are essential for survival.
Hopefully you’re convinced of the importance of having a healthy and progressive company culture, which will not only empower you to confront any oncoming business challenge head on but will also help you nail mission critical KPIs including employee engagement, retention, productivity, and performance while attracting new talent to your recruitment pipeline.
Is Culture Fit Holding Us Back?
Today’s savvy businesses are waking up to the realization that diversity is an important way to strengthen their cultures and achieve new levels of success. The importance and benefits of supporting equity, equality, and diversity—both in the workplace and in the world at large—are clear. Globalization may have gotten the ball rolling when it comes to businesses seeking to diversify their teams with a broader range of employees from across the globe, but the focus on diversity has gone far beyond the desire of businesses to cut costs and maximize profits.
Many companies have started engaging with diversity experts to help them learn and grow in this essential area, and they’re making important distinctions between culture adds and culture fits. Whereas a candidate who’s a good culture fit essentially “fits” quietly and comfortably into an existing and often narrowly defined cultural tapestry, a candidate who represents a culture add expands a business’s diverse spectrum of worldviews and perspectives and empowers them with a more comprehensive and multifaceted array of voices. It also allows companies to source the best and brightest talent from a larger and richer applicant pool—which represents a clear win-win for business leaders and employees alike.
Simply put, a strong brand identity and culture is not only valuable in today’s work world—it’s absolutely essential. Today’s candidates and employees care as much about the missions and philosophies of the companies they choose to work for as the perks and benefits, and you can’t just fake it. Savvy folks will see right through false “marketing flavored” efforts and head in the other direction. Today’s business leaders need to take culture seriously and make an effort to expand their cultures by embracing diversity on real and quantifiable levels . . . or risk being left behind.